Bump bumps up
Friday night, Bump N' Hustle brought soul powerhouse vocalist Ann Nesby to their first event at the new Tangier club. The larger space suits them. Looking out at the packed room, it was clear just how many people they must have been turning away each month when it was held at the much smaller Tangerine.
The main attraction this month (besides the dynamic DJ duo of Paul E Lopes and Mike Tull ) was Nesby. From the moment she opened her mouth, she had the crowd in the palm of her hand. Her set wasn't very long, but when you're singing over CDs it's often better to leave the crowd wanting more.
She's blessed with an incredible set of pipes - she probably could have performed without a mike and still filled the room with her voice. I just wish her sound man had taken this into account. The vocals overpowered the backing tracks, and blasting a full-on gospel singer through a powerful system like that can be a bit hard on the ears, regardless of her skill.
Gow goes deep
Two weeks ago, rumours started circulating that Element Bar was closing down. Sure enough, for the past two weekends the doors have been locked and the events relocated. Element hasn't released an official announcement, but word is that it may be closed indefinitely. It's been hard to keep track of the changing face of clubland over the past year. Jai Bar, Lotus, Matrixx, Helium and the Mockingbird have all shut down, not to mention the smaller lounges that keep changing names and owners. On the other hand, lots of new venues have opened to fill the void, and many more are coming this summer.
Thursday night's Restructured vs Fukhouse event was moved down the street to Courvoisie (which also changed owners and names about a year ago) at the last minute and didn't quite manage to get word out to the techno massive in time to draw the usual crowd.
Nevertheless, it was a treat hearing Greg Gow play a more musical and melodic set than the banging techno sound he generally pushes on bigger rooms. Both he and Ian Guthrie were dropping snippets of 80s-influenced techno and house, which was a bit unexpected but fit surprisingly well.
Checked out Captain Easychord and Nunk 's weekly open-format shindig at Thymeless Thursday. They played everything from the dirty side of UK garage to the quirky side of hiphop and the funky side of indie rock over the reggae bar's infamous wall of sound. In a few weeks they plan to finally give the night a name and launch it properly, and to revive the musical theme nights the party was originally based on.
For a quirky little Greek/Jamaican restaurant/bar, Thymeless is quickly attracting an eclectic mix of promoters while maintaining its identity as a reggae bar. It'll be interesting to see how the summer shapes up now that the back patio is ready.